There’s no word yet on what sparked a fire at the Woodbury Heights Fire Company early Friday morning, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) will test samples of material from the scene to try to narrow down the cause, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.
A section of the firehouse containing a bar, a meeting room and offices was gutted by the three-alarm fire, which was first reported by a passerby who called 911 at 5:38 a.m., after seeing flames spurting from the building.
The fire didn’t damage the three-bay garage or three fire trucks and an ambulance stored there, which were driven out of the building after the fire broke out.
The prosecutor’s office’s arson unit and county fire marshal combed through the wreckage to try to determine the cause, aided by a sheriff’s K-9 squad, which brought in their accelerant-detecting dog.
After that search, the prosecutor’s office sent material to the ATF lab, which prosecutor’s office spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld said is the facility the county normally uses to analyze material from fire scenes.
Firefighters from , , Woodbury, Deptford and Wenonah battled the fire, which was brought under control around 7 a.m.
Woodbury Heights fire Chief Rob Conley told NBC Philadelphia the fire was “surreal.”
“It’s just hard,” he told NBC Philadelphia.
One firefighter was initially taken to Underwood-Memorial Hospital, then transferred to Crozer-Chester Hospital’s burn unit, the Gloucester County Times reported.
Thomas Radcliffe, a Woodbury Heights firefighter, was being checked out at Crozer-Chester because of fears superheated gases may have caused internal burns, the Times reported. Radcliffe was the firefighter who drove Woodbury Heights’ trucks out of the garage following the start of the fire.